Irish siblings detained in Egypt to face prosecutor
Relative says the siblings could be detained for another 15 days
Ibrihim Halawa with sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia in an undated photograph.
Sisters Omaima, 20, Fatima, 22, and Somaia, 27, and their 17-year-old brother Ibrihim Halawa were caught up in violence in Cairo and jailed in Tora prison earlier this month.
This morning Joe Costello tweeted, “Fate of Halawa family members in detention in Egypt to be determined by prosecutor today”.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has been providing consular assistance to the siblings, from Dublin.
A relative of the four siblings this morning said they could be detained for another 15 days. Khadija Halawa added that her sisters and brother had been asked yesterday to sign documents setting out their charges.
She told RTÉ radio the family was hoping to get good news from the meeting at the prosecutor’s office today.
But she warned she is not very optimistic, because they had received “bad treatment” before. “We are hoping for good news, but to be honest, because of the situation in Cairo now, we’re not very sure of what is going to happen,” Ms Halawa said.
It is understood the three sisters and their teenage brother have been detained in separate holdings. Ms Halawa said she expected them to be reunited for their appearance today, when their lawyers are likely to be present.
Mr Costello said the likelihood of the siblings being released was “up in the air”.
He confirmed that an Irish diplomat would accompany lawyers at the prosecutor’s office, and the siblings would appear together in person.
“We know their welfare is fine, but we don’t know at this point in time what the attitude of the authorities is going to be towards them,” he said.
“It could be an extension of time, it could be a charge, it could be that they are dropping all charges against them and they will be released and free to come home. It’s not clear what it’s going to be but whatever it is, it will happen today.”
Additional reporting, PA